So you made weight.  Congratulations.  Now it’s time to do what you actually came here to do: the whole lifting of the weights thing.

I weighed in a whole kilo under what I needed to be last weekend.  and I was comfortable as fuck too which means I did a good job.  It then came time to ingest nutrients and more importantly, fluid as fast as possible so I wouldn’t be bloated and lazy when it came time to actually lift.  Remember, at BEST you only have 2 hours before your session starts.  I ended up with about an hour and a half.  So I took a grocery bag with me to weigh ins containing:

-Pedialyte

-Chocolate milk

-A banana

-Nutella

-Spoon

-Doritos

Remember a few key points from nutrition class: your body’s preferred fuel source is sugar, excess protein will basically be useless in the next 2 hours and fat slows down your digestion process.  So unless you want all this stuff sitting in your gut and not moving, I suggest you take it easy on anything fatty.  I had a spoonful of nutella to make me feel full and I was money.  The Doritos were just something salty to snack on but really served no other purpose.  The chocolate milk should be consumed first followed by you sipping on Pedialyte.  I drink other liquids as I compete, mostly just Redbull and shit like that.

If you start cramping while competing, don’t panic.  Just continue moving around and DO NOT sit down.  Pacing back and forth is preferred.

Once you’re done, go eat something delicious.  Just remember that you’re body will not be happy with you for the next couple days so don’t expect to feel really amazing right off the bat even after getting real food in you.

Hope this helps and good luck out there.

-Ben

Sup fatties,

So you still want to cut weight, huh? Well here’s how it’s going for me so far.  So I did my usual salt and water load early in the week.  By late Wednesday/early Thursday I was back to normal water consumption with no salt.  I’m a big fan of anything pickled and I was even chugging pickle juice Tuesday night. Try a shot of whiskey with a pickle back.  Delicious.  Side note: it’s a goal of mine to have a drink named after me consisting of a shot of Jamie and hot aus jus. 

So I landed in Florida and my BW was still 97.5. Not ideal.  But if you think about it, it’s cold as balls in Sacramento and I didn’t really train this week so I didn’t sweat at all.  So I trained today and took a bottle of saline laxative and I’m sitting pretty at 95.5 with a day and a 1/2 to lose the extra.  I’m money.  I’ll most likey get by without having to sauna which should be a last resort.  So this will probably be my last update before I lift but first, a couple of takeaways:

1) do your shopping for all your supplies, groceries and pedialyte right away.  That way you don’t have to worry about it later.

2) if you land at your destination heavy, don’t worry.  Just take care of your ABCs and the water should come off.

3) sauna should be your last resort.  

I’ll do a short post on what I do to rehydrate when I get back next week.  

I’m writing this because it could be of use to novice to intermediate lifters in the sport who perhaps do not work with a weightlifting coach.  I started my final weight cut yesterday for the American Open which for me will take place on Sunday.  But first, a couple of ground rules.

  1. I’m not a registered dietitian so I’m not qualified to give any advice when it comes to diet.
  2. Cutting weight is not done for health and is done at your own risk.
  3. This is a hard fact:  Cutting weight IS detrimental to weightlifting performance.  Given the rules of the sport, AT BEST we only have 2 hours to rehydrate and refuel after getting weighed in.  This process can often be as tricky as taking water out of our bodies and again, it’s only 2 hours so it’s impossible to get back to 100%.
  4. I do not recommend that anyone drop weight to make a weight class with 2 exceptions: you are trying to qualify for a national event or you are trying to get on the podium for a national event.  And again, there are further considerations here.  We’ve all seen lifters at local meets who are on the verge of barely qualifying in a lower weight class on their best day in the gym.  They starve and deplete themselves and then take attempts at weights that they have no business touching.  DO NOT BE THIS PERSON. DON’T DO IT.  STOP.  STOP IT NOW.  It always ends up like a train wreck.  Qualifying for national events is a big deal  and sometimes it’s worth it to just WAIT until you’re actually ready to be at one.
  5. I recommend to my lifters to not try to cut more than 3% of their bodyweight.  5% is the maximum for someone who is experienced both with this sport and cutting weight.  Yes, I’ve tried to cut more and done decently but I’ve also done not decently as well.  In either case, it’s not worth it.  I’ve been participating in weight class sports since I was 17, so I’m comfortable with the 5% range for myself.

K, so now that I got that out of the way, I started my cut yesterday.  I was exactly 1 week out and I weighed in at 97.5kg.  I’ve got to get down to 94.  That’s getting pretty close to 5% but still under, so this cut SHOULD go well for me.  The travel to the opposite end of the country will add to the difficulty but I’m overall confident.

I killed about a gallon of water yesterday and will try to hit close to 2 gallons today.  On top of that, I added salt to whatever I ate and had my last real decent meal yesterday.  This will bloat me up pretty good but by Wednesday I’ll even back out as I decrease salt and water.  By the time I take off Thursday morning, I’ll be back down to my original weight or perhaps a little bit less.  As far as diet goes, I don’t recommend significantly altering your regular “cutting” diet.  Remember, you’re worried about water this week, not fat.  If, you’ve  been good, than you’ve already shaved off enough fat going into this week.  As far as diet goes, SEEK HELP FROM A CERTIFIED PROFESSIONAL.  ONE WHO WORKS WITH ATHLETES.  NOT YOUR TRAINER.  NOT YOUR COACH.  NOT SOME BRO FROM THE GYM.  AND IF YOU’RE WORKING WITH SOMEONE ONLINE, FOR GOD’S SAKE MAKE SURE THEY HAVE PROPER CREDENTIALS.  DIET CREDENTIALS.  NOT WEIGHTLIFTING ONES.  I’m lucky enough to have a certified professional dietitian on my team and would recommend her to anyone if you are interested.

I’ll be back later in the week with an update.

Busy Lifter, Healthy Food.

November 19, 2014

Hey Sacramento,

If you’re athletic, busy and care about what you put in your body, check out Fork Lifter Food Truck.  They offer a meal subscription service using fresh, seasonal ingredients; definitely helpful for the busy body in need of good nutrition.  I can tell you first hand that their food tastes way better than your boiled chicken and broccoli that you’ve been prepping every sunday the last 6 weeks.  Do yourself a favor and check Fork Lifter out.

Emelie took her diet a lot more seriously to make that drop down to 75kg.

Emelie took her diet a lot more seriously to make that drop down to 75kg.

Today is the first day that I’ve weighed myself in at exactly 110kg.  And that was AFTER eating two meals today.  I celebrated with some Taco Bell.  My plan is to maintain around that weight going into the American Open after which I’ll switch into Captain Insano mode and make that final drop down to 105kg.  I haven’t been a legit no water cut 105 in probably almost 5 years so I imagine I’ll be pretty jacked.  I’ll take a stereotypical no shirt photo on my birthday (Feb, 16) and juxtapose it next to a photo taken on Feb 15, 2015 when I was at or near my heaviest (126kg).

A Few Stats for You.

October 27, 2014

Here’s a few starts that I learned and found interesting while pursuing my degree in exercise science.  I’d first like to preface this by saying that this was information that was presented to me probably around 5 years ago at this point which for me makes it OLD information. If you were to research the topic (actual research. Not google or wikipedia.) these stats might have changed or have been found to be untrue.  I don’t have access to Pubmed (ya know . . . one of those places where you find ACTUAL articles) or anything like that anymore so if you’re interested enough to find information that is different, feel free to post a comment.

Stat #1)

It (usually) takes around 10 years to peak in a sport.  

This is something that I think of often.  It gives me perspective and my newbies find it particularly annoying whenever I bring it up.  One thing I will say is that the most talented people that I teach or know will rise to the top significantly faster than a regular person (like myself).  Jake, my 19 year old newbie, was taking and missing attempts at a 135 snatch last Friday.  I think it took me at least 3 years to finally pass 130 on the snatch.  This makes a) Jake an asshole.  b) him more talented than me.  BUT . . . and this is a huge BUT.  No matter how talented an athlete, they still have to go through that initial learning curve.  Jake will simply be doing it with heavier weights than I did.  Also, I’ve seen firsthand a lot of talented lifters rise (close) to the top at an exceptionally fast rate but then begin to burn out or get funny once things stop going their way or go through their first real “funk” with the lifts.  A funk is a period of time where a lifter will have trouble hitting near max attempts and will have trouble making it click.  Most newbies will begin to get frustrated after a few weeks of this.  My newbies will find it particularly annoying when I bring up the fact that they don’t even KNOW what a funk is until they’ve experienced one for upwards of a few months or even a year.  Just sayin.’  The law of diminishing returns is a tough pill to swallow.  Progress with weightlifting is cyclical; everything you take you gotta give back . . . Then work hard to get it again plus that 1% that keeps us coming back.

Stat #2)

The majority of people who lose a significant amount of bodyfat will gain it back (and more) within a span of 5 years.  

I’ve observed this one both with myself and others who fit this description.  When I was 18, I went from 270 to a svelte 205.  Oh yeah.  From that point on, I remained a comfortable 105kg (230lbs) until I decided I didn’t care about weight classes in 2010 and slowly drifted up to a whopping 280lbs in 2012.  I now sit comfortably at 245 and plan to eventually get back down to 230 at some point.  I’ll probably post a before and after pic once I do make that jump.  I work in the fitness industry where people care what your body looks like even if I don’t.  I’d need to find a new job if I didn’t acknowledge that.

The point of telling you all this is that I may have beat the curve by 2 years but it for the most part was true; granted gaining more weight was a conscious choice.  What this means for me in the future is that I’ll have to be even more carful about what I eat once I pass 30 years old (and beyond).  Once the body hits a certain bodyweight, it is set to maintain that bodyweight.  So to all you hardgainers out there stuffing your face.  Be careful because you might get what you wish for.

On Getting Fat.

July 13, 2011

A couple of months ago, I decided to bump up a weight class for Nationals.  Although I often workout alone, my official team is Hassle Free Barbell, and on that team are a couple of top 105kg contenders.  So knowing that I wouldn’t be able to catch up to my teammates, I decided to move to a 105+ and try to score some team points.  I figured the extra weight could only help my lifting and it would give me one less thing to worry about when Nationals finally came around.  At that time, I would usually roll out of bed weighing a solid 232-235 before 1st breakfast.  I am now a nice fluffy 250 before any meals.

Take note of the power belly.  Yes, I am fat in this picture, but I’ve been a LOT fatter at 250 before.  So I’m really not sweating it.  And don’t worry about what I’m doing in this picture.  I’m not working out.  My gym just had some new farmer’s walk implements made and I wanted to see if they work.

They work.

I swiftly plumped up by eating copious amounts of breakfast food, my favorite food group.  I’ve talked to many “hard gainers” in my lifetime, each one proclaiming that they cannot gain a single pound no matter what they eat.  I usually have a hearty belly laugh.  Like this one.

Then I ask if they’ve tried eating large amounts of breakfast foods throughout the day.

“No.  How often?”

“Like all the time.”

“Won’t I get fat?”

“Yes.”

“But that’s not how bodybuilder’s do it.  I heard this bodybuilder friend that-”

“I don’t care.  You’re not a bodybuilder.  You just told me that you had trouble gaining weight, but now it sounds like you don’t want to do that.”

Yes, it would be great if we could all plan our meals well and eat clean and often like a bodybuilder.  But it’s expensive and time consuming.  Get the calories in.  Keep eating your fruits and veggies.  And have fun eating like a big guy.

And when you’re done with the “getting big” thing, eat more meat and veggies and less of everything else (Newbs call it Paleo, I call it Ketosis).

Also.

Here’s an exceptionally delicious shake I made today.

If you don’t drink it out of an over-sized mug, then you can’t afford it.

Fattie-Mc-Fat-Fat Shake:

-1 banana

-handful of strawberries.

-ice

-milk

-1 regular sized brownie

-3 heaping serving spoon size scoops of peanut butter

-3 scoops of protien

-big ass mug

AM Workout:

Snatch: hit a dece’ 135. I think I’ll open around here at the meet.

Clean and jerk:  Solid 150.  Cleaned 160 but missed the jerk.  I don’t think this will be a problem at the meet.  If I can clean it, I can jerk it.